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Remembering when… Menu made WTCC history

Remembering when… Menu made WTCC history

07/09/2017 12:00

Prior to 2011 the FIA World Touring Car Championship had never ventured to mainland China. But that changed when the Tianma Circuit in Shanghai hosted the penultimate event of the season on 6 November with Alain Menu taking the first race laurels for Chevrolet.

Starting from pole following a rain-hit qualifying, the Swiss built an early lead before Colin Turkington made his move, closing up in his Wiechers-Sport BMW. Menu responded and took the victory by a little more than one second with his factory Chevrolet team-mate Rob Huff completing the podium for a British two-three.

While Race 1 was a relatively tame affair, there was drama from the start in Race 2 with Norbert Michelisz, Tiago Monteiro, Javier Villa and Darryl O’Young eliminated in a multi-car clash on the opening tour. Leader Gabriele Tarquini and pole-sitter Huff then clashed later on lap one. While the Italian held on to top spot, Huff slipped to fourth before fighting back to third. But Tarquini’s advantage wouldn’t last for long, however, when Yvan Muller demoted him for a lead he wouldn’t relinquish on lap four.

China has remained on the WTCC roster ever since and even got two races in 2014 when Goldenport Park in Beijing was called on to replace the cancelled Sonoma event in the USA. But after a five-year stint at the Shanghai International Circuit, this year’s FIA WTCC Race of China, scheduled for 13-15 October, will take place at the all-new Ningbo International Speedpark.

Tom Coronel and twin brother Tim have finished the gruelling Dakar Rally in South America, reaching the end of the final stage in Córdoba, Argentina, yesterday just outside the top 30.

Tiago Monteiro, a race winner and title contender during the final season of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2017, has received Portugal’s Sport Merit Award.

Comtoyou Racing has signed its second FIA World Touring Car Cup contender in as many days with the addition of Aurélien Panis to its WTCR line-up for 2018.

WTCR Q&A: Denis Dupont

18/01/2018 12:00 - 2017

The 25-year-old Belgian will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders – and his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS – when he contests the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup for the RACB National Team. He’s had this to say.

The 25-year-old Belgian will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders – and his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS – when he contests the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup for the RACB National Team. He’s had this to say.

Belgium’s motorsport federation, the RACB, has identified the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup as the ultimate international launch pad for its young star driver, Denis Dupont.

The man behind the Honda Civic Type R TCR project hopes several examples of the car will be on the grid when the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup begins in Morocco on 7 April.